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Canada overcomes delay and protective masks to beat Russia in hockey

Canada's women's ice hockey team beat the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on Monday at the Beijing Olympics in a game delayed by one hour and where all players had to wear protective masks under their helmets.

Beijing, 7 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Canada’s women’s ice hockey team beat the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on Monday at the Beijing Olympics in a game delayed by one hour and where all players had to wear protective masks under their helmets.

Canadian players didn’t show up on the ice rink for the scheduled start at 12:10 pm (0410 GMT). At first, no reason was given by officials for the refusal to play, but Canadian media reported the Russian side didn’t provide the opponents with Covid-19 test results.

“I think we knew it would go on,” Canada’s Natalie Spooner said. “We were just waiting for results to come back and once they came back we were comfortable.

“Our coaches and medical staff were not going to put us in a situation where we would not feel safe.”

In the past few days, there have been six positive Covid-19 cases among the Russians, and the entire team was in isolation at the Olympic village for three days.

Officially “for safety reasons,” the game was rescheduled for 1:15 pm, and when players finally entered the rink, both sets of players were wearing protective masks.

Canadian players kept their masks on until the end of the game, which they won 6-1, while the Russians removed them in the final period.

“The results came in and they were negative, and they said they were going to take their masks off,” said Spooner. “We figured we had them on for two periods so why not keep being extra safe for one period.”

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